Just-in-Time Inventory Management

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Just-in-Time Inventory Management


‘Just in the nick of time’ is a common phrase used by people when referring to the arrival of someone or something anticipated with minimal time left on the clock. This idiom, which was recorded to have begun being used around the 1580’s, is the basis for the modern day activity of ‘just-in-time’ inventory. Just-in-time inventory has been the ‘buzz’ word circulating throughout corporations and small businesses. What is just-in-time (JIT) inventory management? The purpose of this paper will be to offer the reader an overview of JIT inventory management, by way of, JIT background, the success of JIT, problems with JIT, and the future of JIT inventory management in organizations of all sizes.


To fully understand just-in-time (JIT) inventory management, one most know the background of JIT. The definition of JIT is an inventory management strategy aimed at monitoring the inventory process in such a manner as to minimize the costs associated with inventory control and maintenance (Broyles et. al, 2005). The process involves knowing exactly how much of a given item is available at all times during the business day, and how long it will take to order and replace that product. The history of just-in-time (JIT) can be traced to the Toyota Production System developed by then vice president, Taiichi Ohno (Monden, 1983; Vokurka et. al, 2007). Due to international competition in the industry, Toyota realized they were forced to rely on decision-making skills and problem solving skills of their employees to eliminate waste and improve on productivity; the resulting concept was ‘just-in-time’ inventory management (Vokurka et. al, 2007). The most well known person for using JIT in the United States is Henry Ford of Ford Motor Company. A more modern day of this principle include Wal-Mart and the popular…...

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